NBA Rookie Ladder: Second Edition

NBA Rookie Ladder: Second Edition

A recurring note: This Rookie Ladder is essentially a running “rookie of the year” tab. Certain weeks were not, are not, and will not be weighed more heavily than others because they are more memorable or recent. Rather, each edition will provide an update on how the list of top-10 rookies stands on the season to date, one week at a time. Furthermore, neither age nor draft position will affect a player’s prospective standing here. As long as said player qualifies as a rookie, he can be as high or as low on this list as his play dictates. With that said, enjoy the first edition of HoopsCritic’s “NBA Rookie Ladder”, brought to you by The Committee (of one). NBA Rookie Ladder   1. Karl-Anthony Towns PTS TRB AST STL BLK TOV TS% FG% 3P% FT% MPG NET RTG 15.3 9.3 1.0 0.7 2.2 2.1 57.9 53.2 43.8 80.7 28.1 -0.5   Almost two months into his rookie year, Karl-Anthony Towns has headed the Rookie Ladder for each of the first seven weeks of the season. And despite a recent four-in-five-game stretch in which the Kentucky product saw his minutes dwindle, Towns’s numbers have hardly hit a lull. The big man remains the most efficient double-digit scorer in his class and paces all of his peers in both rebounding and blocked shots, while ranking tops amongst rookies according to just about every single all-in-one metric known to the world of advanced statistics. Yet, despite filling up the stat sheet so amply, the most impressive aspect of his impact on the game remains absent from the box score: with Towns...
NBA Rookie Ladder

NBA Rookie Ladder

A quick note: This Rookie Ladder is essentially a running “rookie of the year” tab. Certain weeks were not, are not, and will not be weighed more heavily than others because they are more memorable or recent. Rather, each edition will provide an update on how the list of top-10 rookies stands on the season to date, one week at a time. Furthermore, neither age nor draft position will affect a player’s prospective standing here. As long as said player qualifies as a rookie, he can be as high or as low on this list as his play dictates. With that said, enjoy the first edition of HoopsCritic’s “NBA Rookie Ladder”, brought to you by The Committee (of one). NBA Rookie Ladder   1. Karl-Anthony Towns PTS TRB AST STL BLK TOV TS% FG% 3P% FT% MPG NET RTG 15.4 10.5 1.0 0.5 2.1 2.2 54.7 48.9 20.0 91.4 28.9 + 2.7 Just eleven games into his career, 19-year old Karl-Anthony Towns has already proven far ahead of the learning curve. Holding opponents to 37.5% shooting (9.7% lower than usual), rebounding and converting free throws at rates less than 10 players in the entire league have managed, and pacing all fellow rookies in player efficiency rating, there’s simply not much the early favorite for ROY hasn’t been able to do. Go ahead and add another tally mark in the ‘University of Kentucky’ column. 2. Jahlil Okafor PTS TRB AST STL BLK TOV TS% FG% 3P% FT% MPG NET RTG 19.2 7.6 1.4 0.3 1.8 3.0 50.3 47.9 – 64.4 33.7 – 25.3 Logging a rookie-leading 33.7 minutes per contest,...
Shaquille O’Neal: An Investigative Report On The Legitimacy Of A Clutch Factor

Shaquille O’Neal: An Investigative Report On The Legitimacy Of A Clutch Factor

Shaquille O’Neal is the most dominant big man in NBA history. He is widely recognized as one of the absolute greats, one of the few truly special players to ever grace a basketball court. Where his reputation falters quite a bit, however—and for good reason—is at the free throw line. The 7’1’’, 325-pound behemoth, affectionately dubbed ‘Shaq’, is routinely, and often comically, chided for his historically poor free throw shooting. It’s become such a popular diss amongst naysayers, former on-court rivals, and colleagues alike, in fact, that the big man has fashioned a go-to rebuttal in recent years. Nowadays, upon being called out for his failures at the charity stripe, most frequently on the post-game talk show “Inside the NBA” he co-hosts with former on-court rival-turned-funnyman Charles Barkley, Shaq will quickly shoot back: “Sure…but I made ‘em when they count.” Of course, this is an easy, off-hand assertion for the big man to make, and being that fact check is not a particularly prominent feature on the show, Shaq’s claim largely goes unchecked. In the interest of statistical reasoning (and sheer curiosity), I decided to go back and look at whether Shaq, in fact, “made ‘em when they count”—in the clutch—and whether his performance in the clutch varied enough from his success rate in non-clutch situations to suggest that his ability was, in fact, somehow enhanced (or whether it faltered) in the clutch. To do so, I began by determining the two sub-categories O’Neal’s free throws would fall into. As such, I decided that “clutch” shots would be represented by free-throw attempts that came in the fourth quarters of...
Hornets Franchise Leaderboard: All-Time And Current Record-Holders

Hornets Franchise Leaderboard: All-Time And Current Record-Holders

The Franchise Leaderboard series looks at active and franchise leaders in five major statistical categories-points, rebounds, assists, blocks, steals- for all thirty NBA franchises. Running through two teams per week, we look at the marks set by all-time leaders for each franchise, analyze the respective trajectories of current leaders, compare how they stack up, and do a bit of projecting. As in every preceding installment, each edition of the Franchise Leaderboard series comes with an accompanying disclaimer: While a great honor, long-lived and unforgotten in history books, franchise leaderdom goes a step beyond the intrinsic value found in efficiency and per-game performance. The name of the game, here, is volume—not only in terms of accruing a particular statistic as much as possible per outing, but also in terms of the number of outings you manage to appear (and accrue your statistic) in. Because, at the end of the day, whether you manage to score 32 points per game but only play in 50 games, or whether you only manage 20 points per game, but do so while appearing in 80 whole games, you are nonetheless left with 1600 points—no farther or lesser along the path to franchise leaderdom, through one season, than your counterpart. On top of all that, of course, is one more variable: the number of seasons, and hence, further outings, you manage. Use as many or as few as you want, but the franchise leaderboard does not discriminate. The system is simple: play as much, as long, or as well as you can or want. But the only thing that puts you above all others, here,...
Nets Franchise Leaderboard: All-Time And Current Record-Holders

Nets Franchise Leaderboard: All-Time And Current Record-Holders

The Franchise Leaderboard series looks at active and franchise leaders in five major statistical categories-points, rebounds, assists, blocks, steals- for all thirty NBA franchises. Running through two teams per week, we look at the marks set by all-time leaders for each franchise, analyze the respective trajectories of current leaders, compare how they stack up, and do a bit of projecting. As in every preceding installment, each edition of the Franchise Leaderboard series comes with an accompanying disclaimer: While a great honor, long-lived and unforgotten in history books, franchise leaderdom goes a step beyond the intrinsic value found in efficiency and per-game performance. The name of the game, here, is volume—not only in terms of accruing a particular statistic as much as possible per outing, but also in terms of the number of outings you manage to appear (and accrue your statistic) in. Because, at the end of the day, whether you manage to score 32 points per game but only play in 50 games, or whether you only manage 20 points per game, but do so while appearing in 80 whole games, you are nonetheless left with 1600 points—no farther or lesser along the path to franchise leaderdom, through one season, than your counterpart. On top of all that, of course, is one more variable: the number of seasons, and hence, further outings, you manage. Use as many or as few as you want, but the franchise leaderboard does not discriminate. The system is simple: play as much, as long, or as well as you can or want. But the only thing that puts you above all others, here,...
Celtics Franchise Leaderboard: All-Time and Current Record-Holders

Celtics Franchise Leaderboard: All-Time and Current Record-Holders

The Franchise Leaderboard series looks at active and franchise leaders in five major statistical categories-points, rebounds, assists, blocks, steals- for all thirty NBA franchises. Running through two teams per week, we look at the marks set by all-time leaders for each franchise, analyze the respective trajectories of current leaders, compare how they stack up, and do a bit of projecting. As in the initial installment, each edition of the Franchise Leaderboard series comes with an accompanying disclaimer: While a great honor, long-lived and unforgotten in history books, franchise leaderdom goes a step beyond the intrinsic value found in efficiency and per-game performance. The name of the game, here, is volume—not only in terms of accruing a particular statistic as much as possible per outing, but also in terms of the number of outings you manage to appear (and accrue your statistic) in. Because, at the end of the day, whether you manage to score 32 points per game but only play in 50 games, or whether you only manage 20 points per game, but do so while appearing in 80 whole games, you are nonetheless left with 1600 points—no farther or lesser along the path to franchise leaderdom, through one season, than your counterpart. On top of all that, of course, is one more variable: the number of seasons, and hence, further outings, you manage. Use as many or as few as you want, but the franchise leaderboard does not discriminate. The system is simple: play as much, as long, or as well as you can or want. But the only thing that puts you above all others, here,...